Since I started this blog I have had a mixed feeling about the compliments I receive about my baking posts. On one hand I'm really pleased about them, they're a great morale booster and mood-improving. On the other I know there's quite a few people out there who are much more serious than me and much better bakers. Don't get this wrong, please continue with your nice comments ;-). It's just that I'm well aware of the fact that there are too many interesting things in the food-drink world for me to keep concentrated only on baking. A few days ago I received an e-mail regarding my blog entry about baguettes with a very good recipe from Petra. Petra is definitely what I mean with serious baker. She keeps, since 2002, an incredibly good baking website, sadly for most of you out there, only in German. It contains around 140 recipes, concentrating mostly on wheat flour based breads and containing a large rolls and buns section. Even if you can't read the German text I'd have a look: most recipes come with a mouth-watering bread pic.
Petra was kind enough to answer a couple of questions I had about her interest for bread. She explained to me how her passion for bread was stimulated by tasting breads abroad, so different from those she was used to. She then tried to reproduce them at home. It was really interesting to find out that her source of recipes and inspiration is, like mine, American baking books. It's funny that countries as Italy and Germany that do have an Artisan Bread tradition (long proofing, starters and so on) don't manage or want to spread the knowledge to amateur bakers. I, like Petra, turned to American books frustrated by the lack of decent baking books in my mother language. Given my weakness for books, this "inspiration" can be at times critical for my account balance :-). At least now I can go to Petra's website for some free ideas... I think I already have two or three to try out.